How To Stay Safe While Shopping Online

By Anne Smith  |  Updated June 16, 2015  |  Internet |  Other | 

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Better Secure That Site

Make sure you’re using HTTPS. Check that the URL address begins with https:// and there is a padlock icon visible next to it. This means the site is secure and can be trusted. If not, do not hang around the site.
Confidentiality in the Internet Age

Everyone always wants to be in the know, but there is much confidential information out in cyberspace and it needs to be protected. It’s already difficult enough to combat hacking info-thieves online, so don’t be your own worst enemy by sharing any of your personal user info (i.e.; usernames, passwords, etc.) with anyone in real life. Like a wise old wizard once whispered: Keep it secret, keep it safe.

You Won’t Crack That Code (Easily)

If you do share your user info with others, at least create a strong password and change it often. It may seem overkill to some, but you never hear about those users getting hacked; it’s always somebody’s granddad who used someone’s birthday. But you could do worse.

Cookies, Anyone?

Who doesn't like cookies? They make our online experience much more efficient so that we have more time to look at cat videos. But seriously, cookies, it turns out, are bad for you. Well, your information anyway. Do not use cookies or any auto-fill features on shopping sites (even Amazon—like you can’t remember your login when you’re on there everyday), as this is one of the easiest ways for your information to get jacked.

Sign on the Digital Line

User agreements and privacy policies are what shopping sites use to protect them from would-be crazy consumers that would otherwise be able to sue them for, say, a shipping or refund issue. They are legally binding contracts that you enter into by selecting that little box. Like real-life contracts, you really should read it before signing.

That Cost How Much?!

Prices change. That’s an inevitable fact of the markets. But make sure that you don’t get gouged or fleeced. One rampant issue that pervades the entire global market is price gouging. Use the Consumer Price Index to make sure you’re getting a square deal. (Note: prices are always highest around the holiday shopping season.) There are also times when after you may have purchased something, you realize you were billed a different amount. Sure, it could have been in error, but sometimes it can go much deeper than that. Mobile providers are notorious for this.

So, there are some tips that hopefully will help you stay safe shopping online. Can you think of any that were missed?